This update addresses some of the issues that have been raised in response to the Public Consultation exercise that is underway in respect of the development proposals for land off Barkway Road, Royston.
Transport and Access
- Pre-Application discussions have taken place with Hertfordshire County Highway Authority to agree the highway access arrangements;
- A rigorous assessment of traffic impacts with updated survey data has been undertaken, as agreed with the Highway Authority;
- New surveys have been undertaken which have resulted in effective mitigation scheme proposals;
- The development will be accessed from a new junction from the B1039 Barkway Road which will act as the primary access for the site;
- It is proposed that the access will be designed as a priority T-junction with a ghost-island right turn lane. The design for this access along with the internal road network has been discussed with Hertfordshire County Council and is considered an acceptable solution;
- Improvements and upgrades to the pedestrian crossing at A10 Barkway St/A10 Market Hill are under consideration;
- Car, cycle and electric vehicle parking will be provided to residential properties in accordance with the latest advice;
- The sustainability of the site will seek to be improved through the enhancement of the Public Rights of Way that run through the site to provide pedestrian and cycle connections towards the town centre;
- Footways will be provided through the internal road network to provide an unbroken link to all the dwellings and amenities on site.
- Discussions are taking place with the local bus company about improvements to service the site;
- Access from A10 has been discounted due to topographical issues and feasibility due to the scale of development.
Loss of Fields
- The existing fields are in private ownership and the current use is for agricultural purposes;
- The fields are often currently used by a number of dog walkers/runners and people taking exercise, but this is not their formal use;
- Notwithstanding this, there are two Public Rights of Way across the site that are proposed to be improved through the application proposals providing links from the site to the town centre;
- The proposals also envisage areas of public open space provision for new and existing residents that will provide a more formal way of exercising.
- It is acknowledged that the development proposals will increase the requirements for local infrastructure including local schools and NHS facilities. The development will be required to ensure that necessary financial contributions are provided to address the requirements arising from the development and discussions will take place with the County Council and NHS to ensure the necessary contributions are provided for.
- The site has been subject to survey work to identify habitats present and the potential presence of any protected species;
- Specific bat, reptile, and badger surveys have been undertaken;
- The majority of the site is of limited ecological value being dominated by arable land;
- Mitigation measures are proposed including the removal of non-native species and sensitive lighting schemes;
- Bat foraging routes along the site boundaries to be retained and reinforced;
- A Sustainable Drainage system will add new ponds that will improve the habitat biodiversity;
- Native tree planting, enhancement of on-site woodland, bird nesting features and creation of log and brash piles for the benefit of amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates have been identified as suitable mitigation measures.
- The site is not subject to any national or local landscape designations;
- It is highly compartmentalised with an established treescape creating a robust green edge and forming a defensible boundary between the settlement fringe and the wider rural setting to the south of Royston;
- The proposals will retain the key woodland structures within the site;
- The low value internal areas of the site will be replaced by high quality and diverse planting;
- New trees to be planted will respect the location of existing properties in particular in terms of ensuring no loss of light occurs;
- The built form has been found to have the least impact on the landscape to the north of the site and the layout has been informed by these findings with public open space provision to the south of the site;
- Loss of views of the surrounding areas and landscape is not a planning consideration;
- A generous proportion of the site is proposed to be used as public open space provision that can be utilised by the local community and will be further characterised be sensitive landscaping enhancements.
- Initial desk-based investigations have identified the potential for archaeology on site, with a scheme of trial trenching to be undertaken.
- Noise and Air Quality Assessments have been undertaken and the required mitigation measures shall be incorporated into the design of the proposals.
Flood Risk and Drainage
- A site-specific Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy have been prepared in accordance with national guidance;
- The site is located wholly within Flood Zone 1 with a low risk to flooding;
- The drainage strategy demonstrates an appropriate drainage system for both foul and surface water;
- A sustainable drainage system of on-site ponds will be incorporated as part of the drainage strategy for the site.
- The proposed development has recognised Sustainable Energy requirements and will include measures such as electric vehicle charging points, ground source heat pumps, solar panels and sustainable construction techniques resulting in a reduction in energy use and carbon emissions.